PLATTSBURGH — History and a new step forward to strengthen the workforce were celebrated Friday at The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) during a ceremony and reception for the inaugural graduates of the hospital’s Clinical Assistant training class.

QUAD SQUAD

Andrea Godoy, Lisa Pecor, Kayla Boutin, and Heather Cook successfully completed the six-week course, which included 240 hours of classroom instruction and clinical rotations. The students earned while they learned, getting paid while attending class.

Having developed the skills and confidence needed for direct patient care, all 4 graduates have signed on to become Clinical Assistants (CA) on a variety of nursing units. and they are grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the community.

“At my last job, I was making enough money for everything, but it just didn’t add meaning in my life,” Graduate and new Clinical Assistant at CVPH Andrea Godoy said.

“My girlfriend who works here told me about the CA program, knowing that I am more of a people person than I realized. So I gave it a chance, and I love it. It’s hard, but it’s definitely more rewarding. There is purpose and meaning here, and it feels amazing.”

“Before I started this course, it was the same thing day in and day out at my old job. But coming to CVPH and becoming a CA, I’ve learned a lot, and when I leave (after my shift), I have joy knowing that I actually helped somebody,” Graduate and new Clinical Assistant at CVPH Lisa Pecor said.

REWARDS PACKAGE

As new members of the CA team at the hospital, the graduates receive a robust total rewards package that includes:

· $4,000 sign on bonus

· Sizeable wage increases as a member of 1199SEIU over the next year

· Paid time off

· Tuition assistance and support

· Educational opportunities

· Flexible health care options

· Recognition programs

DIRECT SUPERVISION

Clinical Assistants work under the direct supervision of a Registered Nurse. They take and record vital signs, perform designated tests, collect patient samples, and support patients in all activities of daily living at the hospital. Interaction with unit staff, physicians and other hospital department personnel is critical. CAs also meet patients and their families as they enter the unit, welcoming and acclimating them to the service and routine.

CVPH Executive Director of Patient Logistics and Support Beth Giroux calls the program a huge success, pointing out that it would not be possible without a great team working together to support the students and ensure they meet the standards required to provide safe, high quality care to patients.

Specifically, she thanked instructors Crystal Myers, Patient Logistics Clinical Manager; Beverly Hanley, Clinical Assistant Supervisor; Angela Lancto, Clinical Assistant Supervisor; Stan Kusalonis, Clinical Assistant Lead/Training Specialist; Jonathan Gomez, Clinical Assistant Lead/Training Specialist; and Samantha Guerin, Clinical Assistant Lead/Training Specialist.

“As busy as they are with their individual roles at the hospital, they were also eager to share their expertise and passion for great patient care,” Giroux said.

“These graduates are fully prepared to take on their new roles as CAs because of the tremendous work and teaching done by the instructors and the willingness of all of our staff to welcome the newest members of our care team with open arms.”

NEXT CYCLE FILLED

Giroux said the next six-week program, which is already filled, begins on Monday, November 28. Applications for the third session are due December 26, with classes beginning January 16, 2023.

Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED, demonstrate competency and attend all course sessions.

To learn more about the program or apply online, visit: UVMHealth.org/CVPHCA.

CVPH launched the first training program in October to address a chronic shortage in clinical assistants and to provide those interested with an opportunity to become part of the patient care team. This program is part of The University of Vermont Health Network’s commitment to developing, nurturing and retaining talent in Northern New York and Vermont. Learn more about these efforts by visiting https://uvmhealthimpact.org/workforce.

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